.... in the house
Are there 2 ways to get out of every room in your home in an emergency?
Fire Safety Ladders
Each upstairs bedroom in the house should have two fire escape exits. One is usually down the main staircase and the other is either through an exterior fire escape or by an Emergency Escape Ladder, Two Story .
Home fire escape ladders serve this purpose but there are a few caveats.
FIRE SAFETY LADDERS - CHILDREN
Most teens should not have a big problem when climbing down a single story external fire ladder. Although the rigid collapsing type are the best, most of the fire safety ladders on the market will do the job. Some with standoffs on every rung will be easier to negotiate than others.
Make sure children know where the family will reunite if they have to leave the house in the event of a fire and have a fire drill.
Here are some more observations about fire safety ladders:
- Fire escape safety ladders are a last ditch effort to leave an upstairs bedroom if the main stairwell is blocked. They should not be thought of as a first exit if you can safely get out using plan A.
- Fire escape ladders should not be used if the fire is coming from the window right below the exit window you are considering. In that case it is helpful to have more than one upstairs fire escape ladder.
- Seconds count, so having a wall box with a fire safety ladder in it can help it to always be mounted and ready for use right under the window sill.
- Smaller kids will have more difficulty using the ladder. An adult should go first with the child close behind and carefully alternate steps down the ladder while being there in case the child should loose grip.
- Some types of fire safety ladders are refoldable while others are not. For the refoldable type, adults can practice using them to get use to their controllability when it comes to bouncing off of the wall. Having actually been on the ladder and seeing how to use it will come in handy if an emergency should arise
- Injury can also occur if using the fire safety ladder inappropriately or a small child may become paralyzed at the thought of going down the ladder as they may be afraid of heights.
- Preparation is key to reacting swiftly in the event of a home fire with the first priority being to account for everyone in the chaotic environment of a house fire.
- Staying low to the ground helps avoid the worst of the smoke, but getting out of the building should be the number one priority to the designated meeting point.
- The best advantage for a family is to have gone through fire exit drills ahead of time. Start by having a drawing of the home and plan how you will get out of each room, particularly the bedrooms. Where will the meeting place be? The mailbox, a neighbors front yard...Then have each family member know the exit path without having the see it and even practice crawling along the exit path staying low to the ground.
- Why crawl fast? To avoid rising heat and smoke. You can keep in touch with a wall or baseboard as you go along so you always know where you are, even if the room is dark and smoke filled. The conditions of a fire are hot, smokey and dark because chances are the power breaker may shut off leaving the home without electricity or light.
- Having a test exit and practising it can really help safe lives in an emergency. Once everyone understands the escape path and has practiced crawling in case they need to do so in a fire, have everyone go to bed and then set off a smoke detector (Change all smoke detector batteries in the house at least annually and check them regularly - monthly)
- During the drill, make sure everyone gets to the meeting point safely and orderly.
- In a real fire, no one should ever go back in to the burning building. Fire crews are trained and have the equipment to help others out and are usually quick to respond. As soon as the fire crew arrives, notify them immediately of anyone left in the building that could not get out using the planned escape route.
- This is where having a secondary fire escape ladder from the second floor may save precious time and avoid smoke inhalation by giving someone trapped on an upper floor an opportunity to escape in case fire service response is slow.
- When there is a fire in the home, it is already a bad situation, so being prepared on having different ways of getting out of the building and also running escape drills can save lives.
Smoke Detectors and Upstairs Fire Escape Ladders
Prevention is the most important consideration when avoiding home fires, however the fact is that home fires occur when we least expect them - from kitchen mishaps, unattended candles, cigarette butts or faulty in-wall wiring, the protection of our families is paramount.
Having a home evacuation plan, smoke detectors and upstairs fire escape ladders provides peace of mind and a system to follow in the case of a home fire emergency.
Check smoke alarms frequently and change batteries regulary for the battery operated type.
Have a safe year!
Home fire escape ladders are easy to install and tuck out of the way unless needed. Every second and third floor home should have 2 ways of exiting the building during any emergency or fire to avoid the primary escape route from cutting off the possibility of exiting in an emergency. Residential Care Homes and other group homes require by law for there to be 2 methods of egress for the safety of the residents, so why not adopt the same measures at home.
If a fire does break out, there are precious seconds for family members to vacate the home as soon as possible. Not only is escape from the fire important, but from the noxious fumes and smoke. Having an evacuation plan, working smoke detectors and fire escape ladders will go a long way toward securing the safety of family members in a home emergency.
Read more about the best fire safety ladders for kids reviewed.